Caution: MAY BE HOT!
This was the warning label on the bag that held my taco that I ate for lunch, in honor of Cinco de Mayo. In truth, I ate it in honor of "I have 4,000,000 errands to run before a conference call this afternoon" but why not build on a good thing?
Another truth is that the bag might have been more accurate if it said, "May be hot, may actually be luke-warm, but don't get mad at us either way." I ate it anyway. I always do.
I began thinking deep thoughts as I nibbled on my lunch. Maybe people should come with warning labels.
For instance, when approaching the airline customer service representative at the Houston airport to get my meal and hotel vouchers because I was stuck in Houston overnight, I saw fatigue, frustration, and maybe a tiny bit of "who-cares" mentality. I trod with caution because I had an inkling humor and grace would work far better than fighting frustration with frustration. But for those times where I am less savvy, a warning sign would be handy. This gal's sign would say, "Caution: May be grouchy and may bite if provoked."
How about a gentleman with whom I used to work, in a land far, far away and a time long, long, ago---who needed to be asked his expert opinion because if you simply said, "I think we should......" his response would be "nope, that isn't the way to go". He was amazing as long as it was his idea, by the way. His sign would say, "Caution: don't tell; ask". Wouldn't that be convenient?
Many folks I know would have signs that say: "Caution: Don't talk to me before 8:00 or without coffee" or "Caution: Feed me if you need me to do something for you". How about you? Your loved ones? What caution signs are needed?
Just for today, perhaps we can speak to others in a respectful manner that allows for the missing signs. While it may come across pedantic to say, I believe we had better treat others the way we wish to be treated. Communication is not just about the words we say but also about the way we send and receive messages. While we can't always control the way the receiver will "accept" our message, we can do our level best to send it in a way that it might be received well.
Caution: Might change the world!!